Fussy cat? Food advice from Untamed to whet the appetite!
As a cat owner, you’ve probably experienced the infamous death stare when your kitty decides the food you’re serving isn’t haute cuisine enough anymore.
Fussy cats can be frustrating, leading you to tear your hair out trying to find something that passes muster.
Most annoyingly, fussy cats have a habit of giving you the run-around, only to decide that their original food is acceptable after all. It is true whether your cat is used to dry, wet, raw, homemade, or tailor-made food, and even with such flavour bombs like cat jelly or gravy.
Untamed has the advice you need to choose fussy cat food and ensure your kitty eats with relish.
Why is my cat so fussy with food?
Two things you need to understand about cats are:
- Their natural feeding patterns
- Their love of routine
Cats’ natural feeding patterns
Cats are naturally fairly adventurous with food.
In the wild, cats live off their hunting skill and will typically prey on:
- Mice or small rodents
They are opportunistic and solitary hunters, so they don’t have the advantage of a kindle to organise a hunt for larger prey—dogs have evolved to work as a team, but cats prefer to trust their skills.
Cats usually eat up to 20 times a day in the wild—the frequency is necessary because their prey is small and, therefore, not particularly calorie-rich.
Your cat may be showing signs of fussiness as a throwback to natural feeding habits.
Their love of routine
Cats love predictability and can quickly become anxious when their routine is disturbed.
Something as simple as moving your cat’s bowl to a different location or using another washing-up liquid can be enough to cause stress.
If something more significant has changed, you can expect cats to go into their shell and only emerge once they have accepted the new normal.
Being picky with their food is the first sign that something may be stressing them out, so check for anything that may have shifted in their home environment.
I hope you’re working hard in that kitchen!
Source: Alina Vilchenko
What happens if a cat doesn’t eat?
If your cat’s fussiness is a minor issue, it may go away without you having to do anything.
A cat not eating for 24 hours or more can have serious consequences, though.
As soon as a feline’s body stops getting the calories required to provide enough energy, it will mobilise fat reserves.
This can result in your cat’s liver being flooded with fats they can’t cope with in one go. The fats are deposited around the surface of the liver, causing a syndrome called hepatic lipidosis.
If a cat’s liver function is reduced by fatty deposits, it can have serious knock-on effects on the:
- Cardiovascular system
A cat’s loss of appetite lasting more than 24 hours is a strong sign that something is wrong—you should get your kitty to the vet as quickly as possible to find out what the matter is.
What are cats (fussy or not) supposed to eat?
Protein makes the world go round
Image (c) Untamed
If you are sure that there is nothing wrong with your cat and that you are being subjected to mind games, you may want to check whether your terrorist’s diet is adequate.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so their bodies are perfectly adapted to getting nutrients from meat and animal products.
To get the nutrients they need, cats should eat:
Essential food groups for cats
Proteins are made up of combinations of amino acids, and your kitty needs them to:
Cats can digest animal proteins more efficiently than vegetable ones, and they do not need grains and cereals in their diet.
The best sources of protein for a cat are:
Cat food with a high proportion of animal protein will satisfy their amino acid needs in smaller servings
Fats are the primary energy source in a cat’s diet and deliver essential fatty acids that help maintain cell membrane integrity.
Animal fat also tastes great to cats, and a fussy feline can often go wild about food with a high animal fat content
Vitamins and minerals
Cats need vitamins A, B complex, D, and E in their diet—the liver is a great source of these.
They also need small amounts of zinc, calcium, and magnesium to assist with chemical reactions in their body
What do you call THIS????? Give me PROPER FOOD NOW!!!!
Source: Serena Koi
What is the best food for fussy cats?
The best cat food for picky cats contains all the nutrients they need and presents them in an attractive and mouth-watering package.
Factors influencing the palatability of your cat’s food include:
- The quality of the ingredients
Cats have ultra-sensitive noses and react badly to unfamiliar smells.
You may have noticed that even something as insignificant as washing your kitty’s bowl with a different detergent or using a plastic plate instead of a stainless steel or china bowl can affect their willingness to eat.
The best food for fussy cats has a strong meaty smell with a high proportion of animal fat.
The size, shape, and texture of cat food can be make-or-break in your kitty’s willingness to eat it.
Chunks or kibbles will be a no-no if they are:
- Too large
- The wrong shape
- Too abrasive in the mouth
- Difficult to chew
Many cats like their food moderately moist, although some will happily eat dry biscuits their whole life.
If your cat is looking askance at the food you have served, you can try moistening it with cat gravy, broth, or water.
Where’s my caviar?
Cats favour food that has a slightly acidic taste—they instinctively know that mild acidity is a sign that the food:
- Contains the taurine they need
- Could help maintain an acidic urinary tract, hindering the formation of bladder stones
The best food for finicky cats combines excellent nutritional value with palatability—the most nutritious food in the world is useless if a cat isn’t interested in eating it.
The Ingredient Quality
You can check the nutritional value of your feline’s food by looking at the following information:
Nutritional information sources
The ingredients list has to itemise everything that has been used in your cat’s food.
Each ingredient has to be listed in order of its volume in the dry matter, so you should look for:
The most trustworthy ingredients lists contain:
The guaranteed analysis tells you what percentages of each food group are in the food.
You should look for values of around:
If you combine the information from the ingredients list and the guaranteed analysis, you should be able to find a cat food with:
- A high percentage of animal protein
- Large amounts of fat for energy
Pregnant or lactating cats need even more energy, so you should look for products with an even higher fat content than 20%.
This will do, I suppose…
Untamed has everything a finicky cat loves
Untamed understands how fussy cats can be, so we ensure our food has all the goodness your kitty goes wild for.
All our meal plans are made with the following principles front and centre:
- Rich in animal protein—Untamed food contains more than twice the amount of animal protein most commercial manufacturers use, so it tastes great and keeps your feline in top shape
- Single protein sources—Some of our products are hypoallergenic, with protein from a single source. Even the most sensitive of cats should find an Untamed dish to tuck into with no nasty consequences
- Vet-approved formulas—Every Untamed recipe has been formulated and approved by vets, so your cat will get all the nutrients required for a healthy and active life
- Gentle steaming—We gently steam our food to ensure that harmful bacteria are removed while the goodness is sealed in
- Human-grade ingredients—Everything that goes into an Untamed tin could happily sit on your plate because all our ingredients are ethically sourced and fit for human consumption
All this goodness is designed to please the most finicky of cats, and the nutritional benefits you will see are:
The Untamed difference
In the first week
After two months
Within four months
You should see that:
Try Untamed because even a fussy cat cannot resist great food!
Try Untamed and turn a gourmet into a gourmand
Your cat deserves the best, so we want your furry companion to try our specialities so that you can both enjoy the benefits.
To try Untamed, here’s what you have to do:
- Fill out our questionnaire
- Check your inbox for your kitty’s personalised meal plan
- Order your trial pack
Happiness is a box called Untamed
Image (c) Untamed
We will deliver it to your door in no time, and you can let us know which one your cat liked the most.
We’ll put together a monthly meal plan and send it to you, making sure you are resupplied in good time to ensure an uninterrupted flow of health and goodness.
You can change your plan, freeze your account, or unsubscribe at any time—but we are sure that your kitty won’t allow any alterations!
How to put an end to fussiness
Besides making sure the food you serve your cat is nutritionally excellent, you can employ a few other tricks to break the cycle of fussiness.
From the word go, you can train kittens to avoid fussiness by varying their diet, getting them used to a particular feeding spot and routine, and using separate bowls for different foods.
With adult cats, try the helpful techniques from the following table:
Tips to reduce fussiness
Position the food bowl correctly
Cats want to be left alone when they are eating, and they scare easily.
You should make sure their food bowl is:
Keep using the same bowl
You should avoid plastic feeding bowls and opt for stainless steel or china. Once you have found a bowl your cat is happy with, stick to it
Try ad-lib feeding
Cats living in the wild eat small amounts up to 20 times a day.
Ad-lib feeding means leaving food available all the time so that your cat can choose when to eat.
You can also experiment with feeding mechanisms that deliver a small amount of food when your cat touches or plays with them
Heat food slightly
Fresh prey usually retains its body temperature while a cat is eating, so you can try lightly warming cat food.
This also releases the food’s aromas to entice your feline’s senses
The more stressed you are by your cat being fussy with food, the more your feline may sense the tension.
Mealtimes need to be relaxed and free from disturbances for a cat to feel comfortable enough to eat
Could there be an underlying problem causing your cat’s fussiness?
Being fussy with food—or refusing to eat—could be a sign of a health issue.
Although they are hunters, cats are also potential prey in the wild, which forces them to hide any sign of weakness.
Predators typically look for easy prey, meaning they will target animals that are:
- Showing signs of illness
Cats know that they need to conceal symptoms that may mark them as prey for larger predators.
Being fussy with food may be a symptom of a health issue your feline is trying to hide. The problem could be a:
- Gastrointestinal infection
- Feeling of nausea
- Dental issue
- Respiratory infection
If your cat has eaten something causing digestive problems, you will notice a tendency to avoid food until the issue has been resolved.
If the offending food was eaten recently—in the last 24 hours—your kitty might associate the smell or taste with the feeling of discomfort. You may have to abandon the food that has caused the distress.
Feeling of nausea
Hairballs, scavenged food, and anything your feline has caught and eaten outside may cause nausea—in which case the kitty will shy away from even the most favoured food.
If you notice any retching or vomiting, you should check for:
- A hairball appearing shortly afterwards
- Any massacred birds or rodents near the house
- Signs that a rubbish bin may have been invaded in the vicinity
If you can’t find anything and no hairball appears, a trip to the vet is a sensible precaution to rule out anything more serious.
We know how much pain a cracked or broken tooth can cause.
If your cat isn’t interested in food that would normally be devoured with gusto, you may want to check for any visible dental problems, such as:
- Bleeding in the mouth cavity, suggesting a cut somewhere
- Broken or loose teeth
- New gaps
- Sore-looking gums
This is particularly common with dry food, although wet food can also cause pain by getting stuck between your cat’s teeth.
Smell plays an essential role in your cat’s appetite.
Something as simple as a blocked nose can make your cat disinterested in the usual diet. The only solution, in this case, is to address the symptoms and get something to clear the kitty’s airways.
You can also try warming the food to release a more intense aroma.
If all else fails and you’re still worried about your kitty’s health, it’s best to take them for a check-up.